Difference between Pursue and Pursuit


Before we discuss the differences between pursue and pursuit, let’s have a look at the similar meanings the two words have.


Pursue means to continue something, to follow someone or something, to chase someone or to try to get someone.

For example:

  • The boy pursued the girl until the girl agreed to go on a date with him.
  • The detectives will pursue with the investigation until they find the missing child.
  • “I hope to pursue a career in interior design after I finish high school” the teenager told the career advisor.


Whereas, pursuit refers to the act of pursing, following, continuing with something or someone.

Difference between Since & For - MyEnglishTeacher.eu

Difference between Since & For ...
Difference between Since & For - MyEnglishTeacher.eu

For example:

  • The pursuit between the boy and girl continued until the girl agreed to go on a date with the boy.
  • The detectives are in pursuit of a suspect who they think kidnapped the missing child.
  • The teenager plans a pursuit in interior design once she finished his school.

As you can see, pursuit is used to refer to the action of pursuing something or someone.

Therefore, we can conclude that the main difference between pursue and pursuit is the type of word they are and their different functions in English.

This is because pursue is a verb and pursuit is a noun.

As you may already know, a verb is used to express an action or an activity, it can signal an action being done by somebody. Depending what tense is being used, a verb can express an action that happened in the past, an action that is happening right now, an action that will happen in the future and so on.

Below is a list of example sentences using the verb pursue with different tenses:

  • The police are pursuing the suspect by car.
  • The twin brothers pursued different career paths.
  • The charity organisation want to pursue with the fundraiser to raise money for the children’s hospital.
  • “I pursue my dream of becoming an actress every single day” said the aspiring actress in an interview.

The noun pursuit on the other hand, is referring to the act of pursuing something or someone. If we look as the famous movie “The Pursuit of Happiness”, this is a story about a man struggling in life and his journey to become a better person for the sake of himself and his son. Throughout the movie, viewers watch this man’s pursuit for a better, more secure life.

Below are some more examples of the noun pursuit:

  • The football team’s pursuit to the final was long and demanding.
  • The artist devoted her life to the pursuit of art, she tried to improve her craft as much as possible.
  • The antique collector was in pursuit of a very rare piece of antique china to add to his growing collection.


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